PROTECTING TIEHM’S BUCKWHEAT
Ioneer is committed to Tiehm’s buckwheat conservation while sustainably developing our Rhyolite Ridge Project, which will add a critical supply of lithium and boron to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ioneer actively supported the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ endangered species classification in December 2022. But prior to the federal designation, Ioneer had already invested $1.5 million in Tiehm’s buckwheat conservation. We have taken significant voluntary measures to ensure the plant and its habitat are protected, including installing fencing and signage around sensitive areas, conducting a full survey of the existing buckwheat population prior to any field activities, and developing and implementing a Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-approved protection plan. We have also constructed a dedicated greenhouse to grow Tiehm’s buckwheat and hired a full-time botanist, who is working to propagate and transplant seeds, a process called translocation, to Rhyolite Ridge. Once this is complete, Ioneer will tend to the plant’s continued recovery.
Ioneer has dedicated an additional $1 million annually for the plant’s continued protection. In May 2023, we opened a greenhouse dedicated solely to researching and conserving native Nevada species, and shared positive results in growing the plant in new soil conditions using from seeds safely collected from the known populations. We also hired two botanical experts to develop protection measures that will ensure the plant can thrive in natural conditions, including the extremes posed by climate change.
In developing these options, Ioneer consulted with experts who have studied other buckwheat species in Nevada, and who are familiar with similar conservation plans in the Western U.S.
Specifically, we worked in the following ways to protect and conserve this sensitive species in its natural habitat: